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August 20, 2008
by Jeff Briggs
If you're getting sick of learning Olympic results roughly 12 hours before they are shown on television (like Bolt's absurd 200m run, for example), then this may interest you.
The New York Times reports that ESPN is considering acquiring the rights to the 2014 and 2016 Olympics, and (gasp!) playing the events live (!).
ESPN’s executive vice president says,
“We serve sports fans. It’s hard in our culture to fathom tape-delaying in the same way they have. I’m not suggesting it wasn’t the smart thing for them to do, but it’s not our culture. We did Euro 2008 in the afternoon. We’ve done the World Cup in the middle of the morning. We have different audiences.”
If ESPN is serious, this will be expensive, as NBC won the rights for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics with a bid of $2.2 billion. But, if the Beijing Games are any indication, they shouldn’t have a problem making that money back, as the ratings thus far have been stellar
ESPN would make its bid in conjunction with ABC and could carry the games live on its many television networks, in addition to providing streaming video on the internet.
Please, God, let this happen. I spent last night yelling at my TV for playing tape-delayed diving instead of live beach volleyball, and today searching the internet for video of Bolt’s 200m run.
(H/T: The Big Lead)